Cheltenham Racecourse railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham racecourse.JPG
Location
PlaceCheltenham
AreaCheltenham
Grid referenceSO953250
Operations
Owned byGreat Western Railway
Operated byGloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
Platforms2
History
13 March 1912Opened
25 March 1968Closed
1971Re-opened
14 March 1976Closed
7 April 2003Re-opened in preservation
Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Cheltenham Racecourse railway station serves Cheltenham Racecourse on the outskirts of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.

On the ex-Great Western Railway Cheltenham to Stratford line, the station opened in 1912 to serve the new racecourse at Prestbury Park, home of the famous Gold Cup meeting. The platforms were later extended to accommodate trains of up to 14 carriages. The station was only opened on race days and so facilities were rudimentary, but it continued to serve racegoers until the 1976 Cheltenham Festival.

Although most of the stations on the line closed in 1960 the line itself remained open for non-stop passenger services until 1968.[1] Special trains on racedays only served Cheltenham Racecourse station from 1971 until 1976.[2] The line was also used as a diversionary route with no scheduled passenger services until 1976 when a freight train derailed at Winchcombe and damaged the track. The line was officially closed in 1976 and the track was lifted shortly afterwards.

Cheltenham Racecourse is now the southern terminus of the 12-mile long heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, run entirely by volunteers. The line has been reopened in stages. The line trackbed itself was bought in 1984. The track from Gotherington to the racecourse was relaid in 2001. The line was reopened as a heritage railway by the Princess Royal on 7 April 2003.

The station is in a cutting fringed by Corsican pine trees. Its northern end, where it emerges from the cutting, affords views towards Cleeve Hill. The original station booking office is believed to be the only remaining example of a Swindon-built flatpack prefabricated building that was brought by train and assembled on site. It is perched at the top of the cutting, next to the A435 roadbridge and close to the main entrance of the racecourse. It has a collection of artifacts housed within it. A gentle slope gives access to the platform where there is a new station building with a canopy, toilets and waiting room. The station has two tracks, one adjacent to the platform and the other to allow locomotives to run around the train. A new signal box was opened in 2005 to control the signals and point work around the station.

Access to the station by car is only via the main racecourse entrance. There is a large free car park. A bus service runs from the Network Rail Cheltenham Spa station, through the town centre to the Racecourse Park and Ride, about 10 minutes walk from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway station.

Platform 2 Resurrection[edit]

In 2012, as part of a new Development Foundation, the GWSR launched an appeal to reconstruct Platform 2 at Cheltenham Racecourse station. Reconstruction of Platform 2 was completed in 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniels, Gerald David; Dench, Leslie Alan (May 1973) [1964]. Passengers No More (2nd ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 36. ISBN 0-7110-0438-2. OCLC 2554248. 1513 CEC 573.
  2. ^ Croughton, G.; Kidner, R.W.; Young, A. Private and untimetabled Railway Stations.
Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Gotherington   Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway   Terminus
  Historical railways  
Bishop's Cleeve
Line open, station closed
  Great Western Railway
Honeybourne Line
  Cheltenham High Street Halt
Line and station closed
Heritage Railways  Proposed Heritage railways
Terminus   Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway   Cheltenham Malvern Road
Line and station closed

Coordinates: 51°55′26″N 2°04′06″W / 51.92401°N 2.06833°W / 51.92401; -2.06833